I am not currently satisfied with the current general consensus for the definition of life. There still seem to be too many things that challenge it and they aren't even ideas some rebel scientist has proposed; they are all common observations in nature anyone with a mind that questions would be able to make.
The first one is the textbook example for challenging what the definition of life is so I won't spend too much time on it. It is of course the non-metabolic DNA hacking virus. we all know why viruses have been challenging our views of life. no need to talk about it here.
Instead I want to introduce a few observations I have made. and they all can fall into the differences between humans and their animal descendants.
To sum up all my observations I ask one question. Why do humans break every law of life that animals still follow?
- species tend to all follow one way of life e.g. monogamy, polygamy. Humans practice every lifestyle under the sun. This makes me think that there should be a new taxonomic rank below species to better understand Humans. we seem to be becoming too diverse to all be able to be under one classification.
- sperm is in surplus, eggs are a commodity. every species but human has evolved accordingly. Males compete to propagate because females hold the ace. Males have to doll up and impress the females. Males don the haughty apparel. Males take the life-risking chances. Females sit back and wait.
It used to be that way with humans. almost every central Asian can trace some DNA to Genghis Khan because he fought for the women. Yet now, a little more than 800 years later(seconds in evolutionary time) Women are the ones fighting for the guys. Women doll themselves up, and don all the haughty apparel. Women are the ones who take life-risking chances whenever their relationship is on the rocks. Men just sit back and wait for the next one to come.
My idea is that anything that can change the genetical make up of what we have defined as living must have some true form of life that we are over-looking. Just like a virus can enter a cell and literally steal the hosts DNA and insert it's own as it pleases, Culture may have the same effect on classes. imagine a class as all having one big communal 'DNA' Mammals for example all have mammary glands and the dividing species all used to practice one communal lifestyle. but Culture comes and takes some DNA from the human species, say what made us all live one communal lifestyle, and inserts its own DNA, say making us life however which way we choose. and from this the sub-special category race is born. but the cause of this genetical mess-up from the introduction of "culture". Maybe we all started out as one. Maybe there wasn't any but what we call "life" and then culture came and infected, and caused the splitting of life into the sub-category of domain, and then more culture came and trading its DNA with Domain and Kingdom was born, and so on all the way down to species. and now possibly the introduction of culture into the human species has created a new sub-category called race, and maybe it is a perpetual argument all the way down to the individual. or even the gene. But if that's the case then it s circular argument. And if that is the case!!! then the way we have defined life can never be answered because there is no beginning or end. we would have to look at it from a displaced objective POV. what if we took a step back from what we call "life" and we saw that something else was controlling it. we have given this "thing" two names so far, "culture" and "virus". but what if it was something even bigger and more complex, and virus and culture are just the tools it uses to control that certain part of the whole circular ring we call "life" to keep it going round and round, keeping us from ever finding the end and understanding.